Well, since we are a team we have two stories. Kelly’s is probably the easier of the two to tell. She was born to be an artist and has pursued art her entire life. She studied fine art and art history at Oakland University and Photojournalism at Michigan State University. As she was finishing her BA at Oakland her photography department professor told her about a previous student that was getting married and wanted a student or alumni to photograph her wedding. She was hooked from that first wedding.
I (Trevor) am not the typical personality to fall into the arts. If you’re familiar with Jung/MTBI personality sorting methods, I’m an INTJ (The Scientist). Which makes sense, since I spent 10 years running a software company before joining Kelly at ME+HIM. One thing I learned working 60-70 hours a week and becoming “successful” is that being successful and happy are not synonymous. In 2013 I sold my company and Kelly and I decided to change everything about our lives. We are going to live more simply, we are going to travel a lot and we are going to do something with our lives that is rewarding. And we haven’t looked back since.
One of our favorite quotes is from fellow wedding photographer Benj Haisch: “The most impressive
photographs will rarely be meaningful and the most meaningful photographs will rarely be impressive.” and that has become a guiding principle in our approach. We purposely limit the number of weddings we shoot a year to 30 because we want to take time to really get to know the people we work for.
For us, our inspiration comes from the personality and relationship of the couple. So our focus is creating a space where they can express that personality in their photographs. In documenting their wedding we focus on how their relationship to each other and their family and friends is expressed. So that means we work hard to document natural moments that happen between them and the people that matter the most. It also means looking for details and vignettes that say something about them, rather than just finding pretty things (although, of course, we still love pretty things!)
We love that we meet people on the best day of their life. We love being a part of an incredible, life
changing event. We love capturing the big moments and the little moments, the vulnerable moments and the hilarious moments. We love that photography can be a tangible, physical representation of love. Kelly and I love chasing light, finding beauty and creating art.
What inspires us about wedding photography is not weddings, it’s marriage and relationships and
people. So our favorite moments are the ones that when photographed will capture the nature of a
couple’s relationship to each other or to their family. Our number one goal is to create photographs that are clearly a work of art, but still feel like something spontaneous and unique.
Literature. Movies. Music. In that order. Kelly and I are very cerebral in our process. A lot of our
approach is fueled by long conversations about something we’ve read, or watched, or listened to. We are constantly iterating our process as well. We feel that the way we think and create should constantly be in flux. What are some goals for your personal and professional life in the long run? To continue to get paid to go to parties. To continue to get paid to see the world. And to eat and drink amazing food from everywhere on this earth. To never stop learning new things and to stay humble.
Our two favorite places (and places we want to go back to) are the Amalfi Coast in Italy and Banff
National Park in Alberta, Canada. There is something about a Amalfi Coast wedding that is literally the most romantic and idyllic thing we can think of. And our last personal trip to Banff was life-changing.
Fellow photographers are not your competition. We lift each other up when we share what we’ve
learned with other photographers. The more we share, the more we learn from each other. But on the flip side, we grow personally when we follow our own path. It might be difficult to find our own point of view, but once you do it makes your own work more rewarding and ultimately the service you give your clients will be so much better.
Secondly, invest in your own education. We teach at workshops and mentor other photographers, but we still invest in our own education every year.
Third, don’t compare your b-roll to everyone else’s a-roll. Comparing your latest shoot to the curated Instagram feed of another photographer, or portfolio built over years of shooting full time can be soul crushing. Don’t do it. Compare that latest shoot to something you shot last year, not another photographer. This is why we always tell new photographers to stay out of the Facebook groups that work off of likes and recognition until you can look at other’s work without comparing it to your own.
Savor the little things, have a beer, don’t miss a chance to dance your butt off and put others before
After the whole “photography” part of our business marketing is the single most important thing we do. When we market and advertise we are thinking like our clients and trying to figure out what they want. That makes us better at our job. Plus, it’s kinda essential to getting new clients too.
Meet your photographer before you book them. Either via Skype or in person over a drink. Getting along with your photographer is equally as important as their style of photography. You will literally spend the entire day with your photographer, if you hate their personality, or they can’t make you laugh, you’re going to have a really bad day. Don’t book on price, or hours of coverage, or add-ons, or followers on Instagram. Book on personality.
For more about Me + Him Photography, visit their website: https://www.meandhimphoto.com/